Deciding What to Draw (And What to Omit)

On the same trip to Europe during which I had sketched the Bruges rooftops, my family and I visited London, Paris and points south. I didn’t have a lot of free time but I managed to fit in a few sketches. Looking back at these drawings, I find them to be looser than the pristine contour drawings I had been doing on previous travels.

The quicker technique was no doubt a result of the limited time I had to sketch but another key to saving time was deliberately leaving out parts of the scenes before me. What I’ve come to realize is that deciding what not to draw is as important as choosing what to include. Omitting parts of a scene leads the eye, focuses attention, and allows the imagination of those viewing the drawing to complete the image in their mind’s eye.